The Balloonatic (1923)

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“The Balloonatic” is a silent comedy short film released in 1923, directed by and starring Buster Keaton. The film follows the story of Buster, who plays a young man that gets on a hot air balloon after a young woman, played by Phyllis Haver, he has just met does so as well. The balloon takes off with them both aboard, and the two of them have various misadventures as they try to land safely.

As they soar through the air, the pair encounters a series of obstacles including a group of aggressive eagles, a turbulent storm, and a waterfall. They also land in a remote area where they encounter a group of indigenous people who are initially hostile towards them, but eventually become their allies.

In the end, Buster and the young woman finally land the balloon safely and are relieved to be back on solid ground. However, as Buster tries to show off his bravery, he accidentally knocks himself out, leaving the young woman to revive him and walk off with another man.

“The Balloonatic” is a classic example of Keaton’s mastery of physical comedy and innovative use of visual gags. The film’s stunning visuals and thrilling action sequences made it a major success at the time of its release and have ensured its enduring popularity with audiences over the years.

Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton

Buster Keaton, John Brown, Phyllis Haver

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